$700M Houston-Area Mixed-Use Project Expands

A huge mixed-use development in a Houston suburb has recently both broken ground and potentially added another major component. The 150-acre WaterLights project, being developed by Historic Real Estate Inc., is under way in the growing Houston suburb of Pearland. WaterLights will rely on customers and tenants generated by the nearby Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical district, with 13 hospitals and two specialty institutions, two medical schools, four nursing schools and schools of dentistry, public health and pharmacy. As of 2006, the center employed more than 75,000 people, including 4,000 physicians and 11,000 registered nurses. Additionally, the center’s employment is estimated to grow by 30,000 over the next six years. To serve that customer base, the $700 million, 1.9 million-square-foot WaterLights will include residential condos, brownstones, luxury apartments, office buildings, retail space, a fresh market, restaurants, three luxury hotels, a conference facility and a public park along a canal-like waterway. The latest likely addition to the mixed-used project, a Historic Real Estate spokesperson told CPN, is Nano World Headquarters, a $350 million center for nanotechnology research and collaboration and nanotech business incubation. And in one more recent addition, the Presidential Park and Gardens now under way within the WaterLights district will include among its 44 larger-than-life statues of all the U.S. presidents an 18-foot-tall likeness of president-elect Barack Obama. The park and gardens are scheduled to open in 2009.